Crossing the threshold of Appartamento Lago Brera, a long interactive table welcomes us. Air floats on crystal legs, brings to the surface the outcomes of a long workshop; a fertile meeting among the company, the university and its students. A wooden surface, laden with iconic items, linked with each working group and its microcosm, appears almost static, but reacts quickly to the touch.
Each object is waiting to be touched lightly, to unveil its own project, and interpretation in ‘design format’ of being kind. Sometimes, it catches the eye, with unexpected moments of distraction and break. It waits for the hand of the visitor and activates one of the nine stories, the result of expanded hours and ‘team games’ between students and faculty.
Each design kit on the table, leads to a different way of interpreting kindness.
It coagulates in an action, resends to gesture and word which take place in the background wall. Looking up, they show up in photo shoots, including conceptual clouds of words and meanings. An abecedary of body languages and gracious postures, almost to resemble Bruno Munari’s lessons.
An endless stream of thoughts and reflections on the topic.
An interpretation key, not on the result but on the process: the kindness permeates the relationship and reveals itself through it.
A double design solution:
‘Imaginative’ Obeliscus. When you take this rectangular seating marked with GPS coordinates away from its place on the wall and set it up on the floor, it reveals new horizons, landscapes and narratives (10 places of Italian life), to admire while seated. It then invites you to give your seat to the next person, or put it back in its spot on the wall.
‘Narrative’ Et Voilà. A ‘kind’ wardrobe that at a simple touch, imprinted to stimulate opening, reveals plays of light and projections, evoking the ancient game of Chinese shadows.
Kindness is closeness or the ‘right’ distance. The right spatial and physical balance for encounter, for approaching the other, whether a person or an environment. Tact in establishing the first forms of contact. A flair for keeping the right distance for entering in reciprocal relation.
The identification of a name and marketing claim that works for all groups and is easy to express in myriad directions. The important work of creating a communication system transversal to the workshop’s design focal points, with the goal of identifying a shared language for visuals, colours and content.
Once the first approach is made, kindness is gesture. The start of a relationship, a handshake. It is conversation. The movement of an arm, the hand, the head. The touch used to tacitly express a thought, a feeling, a desire or that accompanies the voice to make it more engaging. It is dialogue, the courteous give and take of talking.
A pattern marked out inside the packaging, so that it can be easily transformed into new, versatile objects with distinctive graphics. The packaging conceals a gift and invites re-use. The relationship catches on. It triggers exchange.
Kindness, which is in a certain sense free, reveals itself in the ability to give oneself freely to the other, without compensation. Useful and appreciated, it is a gift. Unconditional giving that disrupts give and take double entry ‘bookkeeping’. It nourishes the smile, giving value to the work ‘thanks’.
A graft of physical interactions, through objects and actions over the course of Design Week, for quickly and simply profiling LAGO users. A special itinerary corresponding to the LAGO lifestyle and the company’s values will be suggested for each profile type, including other points of interest throughout the city.
Kindness becomes sharing. Sharing is ‘staying’, a liking for staying together, for ‘sharing with’. It is value for divvying up, with others. It makes itself available, in a communal game between the parties. Like the string of a beloved tin can telephone, it transmits vibrations and changes the sound of the dialogue.
The workstation ‘gets kind’. Through ‘soft’ islands or versatile dividers, it absorbs the frustrations of the workday and disturbing noise. The subject’s unkindness is thus balanced by the object in a ‘virtuous’ circle.
The relationship deepens. Once past the moment of the first encounter, listening becomes more subtle and refined, exchange becomes more sensitive and attentive. Kindness shoulders and supports the needs of others, in a delicate balance between parties, whether they are individuals or objects. On the one hand, it bears all of the weight, it adapts and supports. On the other hand, it graciously absorbs and tolerates.
A trigger for different physical and digital interactions, through objects and actions before, during and after Design Week. The support and expansion of the LAGO community on its social networks is a constant in all of the planned activities.
Kindness spreads and takes shape through taking care. Diligent and thoughtful interest in individuals, objects and environment. Beside activity, it involves the spirit. It propagates respectfulness. Awaiting something or someone, attending to it or them.
Sharing different moments is the project aim, from standing in line together under the same umbrella/shelter to exchanging contact information with a simple gesture. From uniforms made of fabric sensitive to contact/touch to a carefully chosen selection of food and music for both locations.
The correspondence between subjects increases and becomes natural. Kindness takes on substance, to the point that you can perceive and taste its flavour. It submits itself to testing the time spent together. And it all happens through sharing.
The intensity of daily life often leads people to be a bit unkind to the objects and spaces around them. The accumulation of clothes on a chair in our bedrooms is one example. Once again, the object — a new variation of the Steps chair – absorbs the subject’s lack, but only up to a certain point. Once past that point, it invites organization and care through the app.
Kindness as attention and thoughtfulness.
Relationship draws nearer to bond. In an intimate context, kindness becomes spontaneous. The double entry give/take becomes unique. Both parties benefit. The positive interaction between the parties is permeated with a sense of satisfaction. Attention given and received.
A complementary element for the Lastika chair, that welcomes the individual, prolonging the pleasing sensation of warmth you feel in the shower. It takes shape as a cover/bath towel, with extra attention to fabrics and forms.
Relationship is now bond, lasting for long enough to establish its existence. Kindness is perceivable and perceived. It spreads through the senses. It is instinctive manifestation, empathy. The capacity to understand the emotions of the other, directly, without recourse to verbal communication.
By teaching, we remain students. We accompany, rather than enlist. In a certain way, teaching is like cultivating and tending to new terrain, through daily work and discussion. It is sowing seeds. Fertilising, with experience, opportune methods and ideas for rendering each individual capable of germinating and producing his or her own ‘harvest’.
Teaching is nourishing. It’s not about persuading but rather providing incentive to explore new spheres of knowledge. Far from indoctrination, we explore together, professors and students, putting ourselves to the test each and every time.